Scott Keller, Mary Meaney

Every leader should mount a transition in two equally important stages: first take stock and then take action by asking questions about five basic dimensions of leadership—the strategy and operation of the business or function, the corporate culture, the team, the leader herself or himself, and other stakeholders that need to be managed. Beware of generic answers because every leader’s starting point is different. For … [ Read more ]

Scott Keller, Mary Meaney

Organizations most often try to help newly appointed leaders by supplying them with mentors or informal “buddy” networks. Yet only 47 percent of external hires and 29 percent of internal ones find these helpful. Standard orientation programs are the second most common approach, but only 19 percent of externally and 11 percent of internally recruited executives consider them effective. Some methods—for instance, tailored executive coaching … [ Read more ]

Whisper Courses: On-the-Job Microlearning with Email

Make learning stick. See how Google uses bite-sized lessons to help managers build psychological safety within their teams.

Jay Desai

I’d rather get sophisticated questions than simple answers from new hires. People often don’t think that asking questions is indicative of quick learning. They think it’s the opposite.

Listen to This Podcast on How Google Develops Great Managers

Managers have a big influence on the culture and happiness of the workplace. Hear from Google’s manager development team on how they select, train, and support managers.

Lee Rubenstein

Leaders need to understand and value the alternative credentials that are available. If I’m an employer, I need to be saying, “Here are the 12 competencies that I need you to get. I don’t care where you get them. You don’t need to spend $200,000 in four years to go do that. You just need to show us some proof.”

The idea that you enter at … [ Read more ]

To Make a Transformation Succeed, Invest in Capability Building

Companies can vastly raise the odds of success if they take the time to build the needed capabilities.

Iris Bohnet

About $8 billion a year is spent on diversity trainings in the United States alone. Now, I tried very hard to find any evidence I could. […] Sadly enough, I did not find a single study that found that diversity training in fact leads to more diversity. Now, that’s disappointing, discouraging, but maybe when we unpack it also understandable. The unpacking means that there’s a … [ Read more ]

What’s Missing in Leadership Development?

We asked executives to tell us about the circumstances in which their leadership-development programs were effective and when they were not. We found that much needs to happen for leadership development to work at scale, and there is no “silver bullet” that will singlehandedly make the difference between success and failure. That said, statistically speaking, four sets of interventions appear to matter most: contextualizing the … [ Read more ]

Claire Hughes Johnson

If you don’t consistently teach more and more people how to make the decisions or find resolutions consistent with your company’s goals, you’re going to stall out. Trust saves a huge amount of time.

Claire Hughes Johnson

One of the biggest challenges any growing company faces is equipping employees with the information, agency and confidence to make decisions for the company on their own. As a founder or executive leader, you can’t always be there to make a call. You have to trust that others can do it in order to keep pushing the frontier of your business. To make this possible, … [ Read more ]

How to Play With Fire: Equip Your Next Generation of Leaders to Deal with Anything

The vast majority of organizations put too much leadership development emphasis on people who are already in traditional leadership roles. And not enough on the people who are the promise of the future.

Seth Godin

We’ve confirmed that vocational skills can be taught (you’re not born knowing engineering or copywriting or even graphic design, therefore they must be something we can teach), while we let ourselves off the hook when it comes to decision making, eager participation, dancing with fear, speaking with authority, working in teams, seeing the truth, speaking the truth, inspiring others, doing more than we’re asked, caring … [ Read more ]

Is Your Company’s Diversity Training Making You More Biased?

Although diversity and inclusion training is prevalent in corporate America, its impact is inconsistent. According to the evidence, sometimes the programs even have the opposite effect of what they intend. One 2016 study of 830 mandatory diversity training programs found that they often triggered a strong backlash against the ideas they promoted. “Trainers tell us that people often respond to compulsory courses with anger and … [ Read more ]

Paul B. Thornton

Effective feedback helps people see themselves in new ways.

Michael Beer

Training works when the organization is ready both in terms of the systemic culture and pattern of management that exists.

Michael Beer

The system of organizing and managing is so powerful that individuals and teams returning from training will not be able to be more effective unless the system enables them to apply their learning. So, efforts to change the system must come first.

Why Leadership Development Isn’t Developing Leaders

Four factors lie at the heart of good, practical leadership development: making it experiential; influencing participants’ “being,” not just their “doing”; placing it into its wider, systemic context; and enrolling faculty who act less as experts and more as Sherpas.

Anders Ericsson

In domains like music, sports, where there’s a lot of individual training, you see the ratio between training and performance. You probably perform less than 1% of the time that you spent training. Whereas in business, it’s more like 99% performance and 1% training.